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United States Department of State

Bureau of Consular Affairs

VISA BULLETIN
Number 98 Volume IX

Washington, D.C.
IMMIGRANT NUMBERS FOR NOVEMBER 2016

A.

STATUTORY NUMBERS

This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during November for:
Final Action Dates and Dates for Filing Applications, indicating when immigrant
visa applicants should be notified to assemble and submit required documentation to
the National Visa Center.
Unless otherwise indicated on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
website at www.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo, individuals seeking to file applications
for adjustment of status with USCIS in the Department of Homeland Security must use
the Final Action Dates charts below for determining when they can file such
applications. When USCIS determines that there are more immigrant visas available
for the fiscal year than there are known applicants for such visas, USCIS will
state on its website that applicants may instead use the Dates for Filing Visa
Applications charts in this Bulletin.
1. Procedures for determining dates. Consular officers are required to report to
the Department of State documentarily qualified applicants for numerically limited
visas; USCIS reports applicants for adjustment of status. Allocations in the charts
below were made, to the extent possible, in chronological order of reported
priority dates, for demand received by October 11th. If not all demand could be
satisfied, the category or foreign state in which demand was excessive was deemed
oversubscribed. The final action date for an oversubscribed category is the
priority date of the first applicant who could not be reached within the numerical
limits. If it becomes necessary during the monthly allocation process to retrogress
a final action date, supplemental requests for numbers will be honored only if the
priority date falls within the new final action date announced in this bulletin. If
at any time an annual limit were reached, it would be necessary to immediately make
the preference category unavailable, and no further requests for numbers would be
honored.
2. Section 201 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) sets an annual
minimum family-sponsored preference limit of 226,000. The worldwide level for
annual employment-based preference immigrants is at least 140,000. Section 202
prescribes that the per-country limit for preference immigrants is set at 7% of the
total annual family-sponsored and employment-based preference limits, i.e., 25,620.
The dependent area limit is set at 2%, or 7,320.
3. INA Section 203(e) provides that family-sponsored and employment-based
preference visas be issued to eligible immigrants in the order in which a petition
in behalf of each has been filed. Section 203(d) provides that spouses and
children of preference immigrants are entitled to the same status, and the same
order of consideration, if accompanying or following to join the principal. The
visa prorating provisions of Section 202(e) apply to allocations for a foreign
state or dependent area when visa demand exceeds the per-country limit. These
provisions apply at present to the following oversubscribed chargeability areas:
CHINA-mainland born, EL SALVADOR, GUATEMALA, HONDURAS, INDIA, MEXICO, PHILIPPINES.

-2-

November 2016

4. Section 203(a) of the INA prescribes preference classes for allotment of


Family-sponsored immigrant visas as follows:
FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCES
First: (F1) Unmarried Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens:
numbers not required for fourth preference.

23,400 plus any

Second: Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent
Residents: 114,200, plus the number (if any) by which the worldwide family
preference level exceeds 226,000, plus any unused first preference numbers:
A. (F2A) Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents: 77% of the overall second
preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit;
B. (F2B) Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of Permanent
Residents: 23% of the overall second preference limitation.
Third: (F3) Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens:
not required by first and second preferences.
Fourth: (F4) Brothers and Sisters of Adult U.S. Citizens:
numbers not required by first three preferences.

23,400, plus any numbers


65,000, plus any

A. FINAL ACTION DATES FOR FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCE CASES


On the chart below, the listing of a date for any class indicates that the class
is oversubscribed (see paragraph 1); "C" means current, i.e., numbers are
authorized for issuance to all qualified applicants; and "U" means unauthorized,
i.e., numbers are not authorized for issuance. (NOTE: Numbers are authorized for
issuance only for applicants whose priority date is earlier than the final action
date listed below.)

FamilySponsored

All Chargeability Areas


Except Those
Listed

CHINAmainland
born

INDIA

MEXICO

PHILIPPINES

F1

22OCT09

22OCT09

22OCT09

08APR95

01SEP05

F2A

22JAN15

22JAN15

22JAN15

08JAN15

22JAN15

F2B

15APR10

15APR10

15APR10

08OCT95

15FEB06

F3

22JAN05

22JAN05

22JAN05

01DEC94

08AUG94

F4

01DEC03

01AUG03

15FEB03

08MAY97

08MAY93

*NOTE: For November, F2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are authorized for
issuance to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than
08JAN15. F2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are authorized for issuance to
applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning
08JAN15 and earlier than 22JAN15. All F2A numbers provided for MEXICO are exempt
from the per-country limit.

-3B.

November 2016

DATES FOR FILING FAMILY-SPONSORED VISA APPLICATIONS

The chart below reflects dates for filing visa applications within a timeframe
justifying immediate action in the application process. Applicants for immigrant
visas who have a priority date earlier than the application date in the chart below
may assemble and submit required documents to the Department of States National
Visa Center, following receipt of notification from the National Visa Center
containing detailed instructions. The application date for an oversubscribed
category is the priority date of the first applicant who cannot submit
documentation to the National Visa Center for an immigrant visa. If a category is
designated current, all applicants in the relevant category may file
applications, regardless of priority date.
The C listing indicates that the category is current, and that applications may
be filed regardless of the applicants priority date. The listing of a date for any
category indicates that only applicants with a priority date which is earlier than
the listed date may file their application.
Visit www.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo for information on whether USCIS has
determined that this chart can be used (in lieu of the chart in paragraph 4.A.)
this month for filing applications for adjustment of status with USCIS.

FamilySponsored

All Chargeability CHINAAreas Except


mainland
Those Listed
born

INDIA

MEXICO

PHILIPPINES

F1

01JAN11

01JAN11

01JAN11

01JUN95

01MAY06

F2A

22NOV15

22NOV15

22NOV15

22NOV15

22NOV15

F2B

08FEB11

08FEB11

08FEB11

01JUN96

01FEB07

F3

22AUG05

22AUG05

22AUG05

01MAY95

01JAN95

F4

01JUL04

01JUL04

01MAY04

01DEC97

01APR94

5. Section 203(b) of the INA prescribes preference classes for allotment of


Employment-based immigrant visas as follows:
EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCES
First: Priority Workers: 28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference
level, plus any numbers not required for fourth and fifth preferences.
Second: Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of
Exceptional Ability: 28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference
level, plus any numbers not required by first preference.
Third: Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers: 28.6% of the worldwide
level, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences, not more
than 10,000 of which to "*Other Workers".
Fourth:

Certain Special Immigrants:

7.1% of the worldwide level.

Fifth: Employment Creation: 7.1% of the worldwide level, not less than 3,000 of
which reserved for investors in a targeted rural or high-unemployment area, and
3,000 set aside for investors in regional centers by Sec. 610 of Pub. L. 102-395.

-4-

November 2016

A. FINAL ACTION DATES FOR EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCE CASES


On the chart below, the listing of a date for any class indicates that the class
is oversubscribed (see paragraph 1); "C" means current, i.e., numbers are
authorized for issuance to all qualified applicants; and "U" means unauthorized,
i.e., numbers are not authorized for issuance. (NOTE: Numbers are authorized for
issuance only for applicants whose priority date is earlier than the final action
date listed below.)
All Chargeability Areas
Except Those
Listed
EmploymentBased

CHINAmainland
born

EL SALVADOR
GUATEMALA
HONDURAS

INDIA

MEXICO

PHILIPPINES

1st

2nd

15JUL12

01NOV07

3rd

01JUL16

15APR13

01JUL16

08MAR05

01JUL16

01APR11

01JUL16

01SEP05

01JUL16

08MAR05

01JUL16

01APR11

15JUL15

Certain
Religious
Workers

15JUL15

5th
Non-Regional
Center
(C5 and T5)

08MAR14

5th
C
Regional Center
(I5 and R5)

08MAR14

Other
Workers
4th

*Employment Third Preference Other Workers Category: Section 203(e) of the


Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) passed by Congress in November
1997, as amended by Section 1(e) of Pub. L. 105139, provides that once the
Employment Third Preference Other Worker (EW) cut-off date has reached the priority
date of the latest EW petition approved prior to November 19, 1997, the 10,000 EW
numbers available for a fiscal year are to be reduced by up to 5,000 annually
beginning in the following fiscal year. This reduction is to be made for as long as
necessary to offset adjustments under the NACARA program. Since the EW cut-off date
reached November 19, 1997 during Fiscal Year 2001, the reduction in the EW annual
limit to 5,000 began in Fiscal Year 2002.

-5B.

November 2016

DATES FOR FILING OF EMPLOYMENT-BASED VISA APPLICATIONS

The chart below reflects dates for filing visa applications within a timeframe
justifying immediate action in the application process. Applicants for immigrant
visas who have a priority date earlier than the application date in the chart may
assemble and submit required documents to the Department of States National Visa
Center, following receipt of notification from the National Visa Center containing
detailed instructions. The application date for an oversubscribed category is the
priority date of the first applicant who cannot submit documentation to the
National Visa Center for an immigrant visa. If a category is designated current,
all applicants in the relevant category may file, regardless of priority date.
The C listing indicates that the category is current, and that applications may
be filed regardless of the applicants priority date. The listing of a date for any
category indicates that only applicants with a priority date which is earlier than
the listed date may file their application.
Visit www.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo for information on whether USCIS has
determined that this chart can be used (in lieu of the chart in paragraph 5.A.)
this month for filing applications for adjustment of status with USCIS.

EmploymentBased

All Chargeability
CHINA Areas Except
INDIA
mainland born
Those Listed

MEXICO PHILIPPINES

1st

2nd

01MAR13

22APR09 C

3rd

01MAY14

01JUL05 C

01SEP13

Other Workers

01AUG09

01JUL05 C

01SEP13

4th

Certain Religious
Workers

5th Non-Regional
C
Center (C5 and T5)

15JUN14

5th Regional Center


C
(I5 and R5)

15JUN14

6. The Department of State has a recorded message with the cut-off date
information for Final Application Action which can be heard at: (202) 485-7699.
This recording is updated on or about the tenth of each month with information on
final action dates for the following month.

-6B.

November 2016

DIVERSITY IMMIGRANT (DV) CATEGORY FOR THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER

Section 203(c) of the INA provides up to 55,000 immigrant visas each fiscal year
to permit additional immigration opportunities for persons from countries with low
admissions during the previous five years. The NACARA stipulates that beginning
with DV-99, and for as long as necessary, up to 5,000 of the 55,000 annuallyallocated diversity visas will be made available for use under the NACARA program.
This resulted in reduction of the DV-2017 annual limit to 50,000. DV visas are
divided among six geographic regions. No one country can receive more than seven
percent of the available diversity visas in any one year.
For November, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified
DV-2017 applicants chargeable to all regions/eligible countries as follows. When
an allocation cut-off number is shown, visas are available only for applicants
with DV regional lottery rank numbers BELOW the specified allocation cut-off
number:

Region

All DV Chargeability
Areas Except Those
Listed Separately

AFRICA
ASIA
EUROPE
NORTH AMERICA
(BAHAMAS)

13,500
3,000
13,000
3

OCEANIA

475

SOUTH AMERICA,
and the CARIBBEAN

575

Except: Egypt
7,500
Ethiopia 7,500
Except: Nepal

2,000

-7-

November 2016

Entitlement to immigrant status in the DV category lasts only through the end
of the fiscal (visa) year for which the applicant is selected in the lottery. The
year of entitlement for all applicants registered for the DV-2017 program ends as
of September 30, 2017. DV visas may not be issued to DV-2017 applicants after that
date. Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-2017
principals are only entitled to derivative DV status until September 30, 2017. DV
visa availability through the very end of FY-2017 cannot be taken for granted.
Numbers could be exhausted prior to September 30.
C.

THE DIVERSITY (DV) IMMIGRANT CATEGORY RANK CUT-OFFS WHICH WILL APPLY
IN DECEMBER

For December, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified


DV-2017 applicants chargeable to all regions/eligible countries as follows. When
an allocation cut-off number is shown, visas are available only for applicants
with DV regional lottery rank numbers BELOW the specified allocation cut-off
number:
All DV Chargeability
Areas Except Those
Region
Listed Separately
AFRICA
ASIA

EUROPE
NORTH AMERICA
(BAHAMAS)

20,400
3,500

14,000
5

OCEANIA

525

SOUTH AMERICA,
and the CARIBBEAN

650

Except: Egypt
8,700
Ethiopia 9,000
Except: Iran
Nepal

3,200
2,200

-8D.

November 2016

EXTENSION OF TWO EMPLOYMENT VISA CATEGORIES

An extension of both the Employment Fourth Preference Certain Religious Workers


(SR) and Employment Fifth Preference Pilot (I5 and R5) Categories was signed into
law in late September. As indicated in item D of the Visa Bulletin which announced
the October final action dates, the extension has resulted in the immediate
application of the following final action dates for the month of October:
SR: Current for all countries except El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras which
are subject to a June 15, 2015 final action date for October.
I5 and R5: Current for all countries except China-mainland born for October.
China-mainland born applicants are subject to a February 22, 2014 final action date
for October.
E.

ATTENTION DV-17 LOTTERY WINNERS

Have you checked your Diversity Visa (DV) 2017 status recently? Additional entrants
were added to selected status in September! Check your status using your unique
confirmation number on the Entrant Status Check (ESC) website
www.dvlottery.state.gov.
Selected entrants are encouraged to complete the online DS-260 application
immediately to schedule an interview appointment at the appropriate U.S. Embassy or
Consulate. www.dvlottery.state.gov

-9F.

November 2016

OBTAINING THE MONTHLY VISA BULLETIN

The Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs publishes the monthly Visa
Bulletin on their website at www.travel.state.gov under the Visas section.
Alternatively, visitors may access the Visa Bulletin directly by going to:
http://www.travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/law-and-policy/bulletin.html.

To be placed on the Department of States E-mail subscription list for the Visa
Bulletin, please send an E-mail to the following E-mail address:
listserv@calist.state.gov
and in the message body type:
Subscribe Visa-Bulletin
(example: Subscribe Visa-Bulletin)

To be removed from the Department of States E-mail subscription list for the
Visa Bulletin, send an e-mail message to the following E-mail address:
listserv@calist.state.gov
and in the message body type: Signoff Visa-Bulletin
The Department of State also has available a recorded message with visa final
action dates which can be heard at: (202) 485-7699. The recording is normally
updated on/about the 10th of each month with information on final action dates for
the following month.
Readers may submit questions regarding Visa Bulletin related items by
E-mail at the following address:
VISABULLETIN@STATE.GOV
(This address cannot be used to subscribe to the Visa Bulletin.)

Department of State Publication 9514


CA/VO: October 11, 2016